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Eligibility and Services
DHS child welfare offers five programs for helping youth achieve independence.
  • Independent Living-Skill Building Program (ILP), which provides training and classes to prepare youth to live independently.
  • ILP Discretionary Funds, which is flexible funding to assist a youth with achieving his/her goals for transition.
  • Chafee Education and Training Grant Program (ETG)
  • Independent Living Housing Subsidy Program and
  • Chafee Housing Program

Exit StrategyIf eligible, current and former foster youth may access funds to help with rent and other expenses when they are living on their own. Learn more about these services and youth eligibility guidelines, below.
ILP services are available to former foster youth that were discharged from care at age 16 or older with at least 180 days (six months) of foster care placement services after age 14.
Youth can be returned home, in a guardianship, or living independently and still retain eligibility for some ILP services. The ILP Housing services are the only ILP services a former foster youth will lose if discharged after age 16 and prior to age 18 (with 180 days of care).
To access services as a former foster youth, the youth will need to go to the local DHS child welfare office and request "voluntary services." The youth will then go through the intake process. If the youth is under the age of 18, the parent(s)/ legal guardian will need to sign the Voluntary Services request (form CF 304). If a young adult (age 18-20), the youth can sign for themselves. All services end at age 21-ETV may be an exception. 

Youth Bill of Rights Poster

ILP Skill Building Eligibility (Federally Funded)

A youth may qualify for ILP Skills Training (ILP-S) if you can answer "YES" to ALL of the following questions:

man cookingIs the youth:
  • Age 16 or older?
  • Currently in foster care* (DHS or Tribal) or
  • A former foster child who left child welfare substitute care placement at age 16 or older with at least 180 days (6 months) of placement services after age 14?
  • Less than age 21?
  • In need of ILP services to become self-sufficient and independent?
If you marked all answers as yes, the youth is eligible for ILP services up to age 21.
Services: Contracted out to local non-profits, for-profits, or Tribes.
  • Daily Living Skills such as: money management, household maintenance, transportation, legal issues, health, community resources, housing options, personal hygiene, employment readiness
  • Educational Assistance such as: tutoring, homework/study groups, college tours, financial aid/scholarship applications
*Foster care is defined as placement in foster family homes, relative care, group homes, emergency shelters, residential facilities, child care institutions, and pre-adoptive homes.